The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is an organization rooted in health, nutrition, and ethical research practices. One of their biggest campaigns is the National School Lunch Reform, which encourages schools to offer a variety of healthy food for students.
School lunch food typically contains processed meat and dairy items that are high in saturated fat and cholesterol. Eating a diet of primarily processed foods and insufficient fruits and vegetables is linked to poor health outcomes, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. The National School Lunch Reform promotes students’ current and long-term health by encouraging schools to offer nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, and legumes. This program also educates school administrators, food service workers, parents, and students about food choices that promote optimal health.
Many students are unable to eat certain foods due to either health reasons or preference. For example, lactose intolerance and dairy allergies prevent students from eating anything containing milk. Additionally, many students chose a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle for ethical, environmental, religious, and/or health reasons. Therefore, schools must cater to these dietary needs.
In order to help schools provide healthy food options, the PCRM works to increase funding and resources for school kitchen equipment and infrastructure. They also provide resources such as free recipe guides and webinars. Past webinar topics include heart health and shrinking the carbon and water footprint of school food.
Donations to the PCRM go towards promoting higher standards for nutrition policies, health education, and cruelty-free lab research.